Denmark has not sought Russian help in Danske Bank case | Eurasia Diary -

18 June, Tuesday

Denmark has not sought Russian help in Danske Bank case

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Danish and Estonian regulators have not sought assistance from Moscow in their investigation of a massive money laundering scandal involving Russian and other account holders, Russia’s financial monitoring service told Reuters on Wednesday.
The scandal involves 200 billion euros ($230 billion) in transactions processed by Danske Bank via its Estonian branch between 2007 and 2015, many of which the Danish lender said last month it thinks are suspicious.
“As of today, we have not received any official request from Estonian or Danish law enforcement agencies or financial intelligence units (for) assistance within the existing international agreements and obligations,” Rosfinmonitoring said in an email reply to questions from Reuters.
Some 23 percent of the incoming funds in the Estonian non-resident portfolio, the center of the scandal, came from Russia, Danske Bank said in its report last month.
“It is really criticisable that the Danish authorities did not reach out to the Russians. It would have been very relevant to ask them, to find out: where does the money come from,” Jakob Dedenroth Bernhoft, a Copenhagen-based expert on anti money laundering, told Reuters.
Rosfinmonitoring is unconditionally ready to assist “in counteracting laundering of the proceeds of crimes, provided we receive such requests via the official channels,” the watchdog said in its email.
It also said Russian authorities as far back as 2007 notified the Estonian authorities about the Danske Bank branch’s “improper behavior and its involvement in suspicious transit operations”.
Danske Bank’s report concluded the bank had failed to take proper action in 2007 when it was criticized by the Estonian regulator.
Danish business minister Rasmus Jarlov, in a written answer to a question from another lawmaker, said on Wednesday the country’s finance watchdog had put too much trust in information provided by Danske Bank and should have been more critical.
Jarlov will be quizzed at an open hearing in the Danish parliament on Wednesday.
Denmark’s financial services authority did not immediately reply to a request for comment.
($1 = 0.8711 euros)

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